Catholic Charities : Diocese of Des Moines
Bearing the Burdens of Those in Need
March 23, 2016

Prayer Fasting Almsgiving

As we enter Holy Week, hopefully, we are fine tuning our Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving so we will be able to share more fully in the Triduum liturgies. 

Before our prayer, I will start with a quote from Galatians chapter six verse two “Bear one another’s burdens, and so will you fulfill the law of Christ."  We are not talking about bearing our own, self-centered burdens, but like Christ on the cross freely accepting the burdens of others. So as we pray, fast, and give alms, let us visualize a homeless person.  Let us give that person a name and let us think about what that person is like, what he does, what he eats, and where he sleeps this Holy Week.  Let us think of him or her often as we go through this week before the Triduum.

Now our prayer.  Think of your person as you say the prayer.

Hear our prayer today for all women and men, boys and girls who are homeless this day. 
For those sleeping under bridges, on park benches, in doorways or bus stations. 
For those who can only find shelter for the night but must wander in the daytime 
For families broken because they could not afford to pay the rent. 
For those who have no relatives or friends who can take them in. 
For those who have no place to keep possessions that remind them who they are. 
For those who are afraid and hopeless. 
For all these people, we pray that you will provide shelter, security and hope.
We pray for those of us with warm houses and comfortable beds that we not be lulled into complacency and forgetfulness.  Jesus, help us to see your face in the eyes of every homeless person we meet so that we may be empowered through word and deed, and through the political means we have, to bring justice and peace to those who are homeless.  Amen

As we consider our fasting, we first want to think of our person by name.  For fasting, I suggest one or two days of eating half as much at each meal as you usually would.

As we consider our almsgiving, again think of our person by name. For our almsgiving, let us give what we think would be a reasonable amount it would cost to feed a homeless person for one or two days. Save to


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